Progress on Fort Madison public health facility
FORT MADISON (WGEM) - Lee County residents can look forward to a new public health building in Fort Madison, thanks to the help of a USDA grant.
Included in the facility will be a main office, staff workspace, ambulance bays and space for COVID-19 testing.
Lee County grant writer Chuck Vandenburg said the $974,000 USDA grant will help fund the years long project, which has faced obstacles in the past.
“We tried to get an independent health department facility here for the last ten years and it just hasn’t worked out, so I think that grant work is important, and I think the county made the right decision,” Vandenberg said.
The recent USDA grant isn’t the only funding that will go into this project.
Lee County Board Chairman Garry Seyb said the county is pursuing multiple other routes of funding so local taxes will not have to be raised for the project.
These other avenues include a community block grant and $2.195 million through a community project initiative in the ag bill. The ag bill project was negotiated with the help of U.S. Representative Miller-Meeks and awaits further passage in the house and senate.
Seyb said overall, the project is looking to be well on track.
“So when you add all it up, we’re at 6.1, $6.2 million worth of funding that we hope to be able to receive. We’re sitting right at $2.5 million worth of funding that has been secured, but we expect the rest of that funding - hopefully by fall - to be able to secure it and have the property.” Seyb said.
Seyb said the donation and grant process began with a land donation by the Miller family worth $750,000. He said the project would have had much more significant delays without that kind of donation.
Seyb said he hopes to have the project out for bid this winter, with work to begin in the following spring.
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